You remember how I talked about this thing in my books…kinda the thing Philip K. Dick talked about (NOT comparing myself talent-wise with PKD at all)…about how the things we sometimes write end up sort of seemingly “come true?”
“I don’t believe you. Continue!”
–Dwight Schrute, “The Office”
I find the political news/discussion so toxic at the moment—even for me, who trades in a certain level of schadenfreude—that I’m instead going to mostly segue into a pop-cultural discussion that might have certain esoteric flavors.
I’m going to talk about Jim Halpert.
“Sometimes I wonder about the Creator of the Universe.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, “Breakfast of Champions”
“Ubik…Safe when taken as directed.”
― Philip K. Dick, “Ubik”
It always seemed to me that the most powerful fictional characters would not be determined by their strength, wealth, or intelligence—but rather, by their ability to realize they were fictional. For what good is everything else if you are not aware of your own fictionality, of the true nature of your very existence?
In this sense, a character like Deadpool’s exemplary physical durability is really just a metaphor for his enlightenment as to the fact that he is a fictional character. Fictional characters can be chopped up, burnt, exploded, decapitated, what have you—but they cannot truly die, as long as there is at least one person existing who can keep creating stories (official or otherwise) about them.
“I know what you want. Oh sure, they may have tried to separate us, but what we have is too strong, it’s too powerful. After all, we shared everything, you and I. I told you my deepest, darkest secrets. I showed you exactly what people are capable of. I shocked you with my honesty, but mostly I challenged you and made you think. And you trusted me, even though you knew you shouldn’t. So we’re not done, no matter what anyone says.”
–pretty much any Kevin Spacey villain
My thoughts about this apparently self-produced Kevin Spacey video that dropped just before Christmas *was* going to be in a journal post, but it was just too…singular not to just spotlight.
I haven’t actually watched the video—because the prospect of doing so makes my skin feel like it is going to bubble up and literally crawl down my arms. But I *did* read the transcript, which is about as bizarre as it gets.
My favorite It’s Garry Shandling’s Show began with Garry being told by a psychic that somebody was going to get shot by the end of the episode. So he’s totally alarmed and wants to prevent this tragedy from happening.
What does he do? He gets a copy of the episode’s script and waits between scenes as they’re being filmed, ready to intervene in case the shooting happens. He’s going to proactively foil his own show’s story and save the day by attempting to alter the plot.
Watching this as a teenager, it made complete sense to me. It kinda still does.